The signal to start the stopwatch lay in the smoke from the starting pistol. Maurice Nicholas is 90 years old and giving me a lesson in timekeeping. The former senior timekeeper speaks clearly and is as precise as the stopwatches he once used. In the 1950s in Singapore, 10 timekeepers would measure human achievement in a single race - three for first place, three for second, three for third, one for fourth.
It's when I asked: When did you start the stopwatch?